Tendinitis and ruptured tendon are injuries that all soccer players should be aware of. A ruptured tendon is especially worrisome because in some cases, it can lead to permanent disability. Tendinitis is a condition in which a tendon is inflamed. This is something to be aware of because when a tendon is inflamed it is more vulnerable to injury, such as rupturing.
Causes of Tendinitis and Ruptured Tendon in Soccer Players
Acute injury and chronic overuse are the most common causes of both tendon issues. In terms of acute injury, stretching the tendon farther than what is considered normal range can result in swelling, inflammation and pain of the affected tendon. In terms of chronic overuse, when a specific tendon is strained or subjected to repetitive stress, either issue could result. The four most common places for a ruptured tendon to occur are the quadriceps and Achilles tendon in the legs, and the biceps and rotator cuff in the arms and shoulders. Ruptures can result from the above issues, but also due to eccentric loading, over-stretching, direct trauma and strenuous physical activity (most often seen in those who are not conditioned well enough for the sport).
Diagnosing Tendinitis and Ruptured Tendon
Your symptoms will often be enough to make a diagnosis of tendinitis. Your doctor will also do a physical examination to help guide the treatment process. However, to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms, your doctor may recommend having imaging tests done.
A physical examination is generally all that is needed to diagnose a ruptured tendon. However, imaging tests will be done to determine the extent of the damage and to confirm the diagnosis. An MRI is the most common imaging test done because it gives the best pictures of soft tissues (tendons are soft tissues). It will be able to determine if your rupture is complete or partial. An X-ray may be done to look at the bones associated with the tendon and to see if the affected tendon is thickened (commonly use in Achilles tendon ruptures). For a rotator cuff rupture, your doctor will likely order arthrography. This uses a special dye that will leak into a tendon rupture and offer the most accurate diagnosis.
Preventing Tendinitis and Ruptured Tendon
To prevent a ruptured tendon, the cause of the tear needs to be treated. For example, if you have tendinitis, successfully treating this will help to prevent tendon rupture. To prevent tendinitis, it is important to not over-stress the tendons. Changing up your training routine, such as cross-training, can help to lessen the impact on your tendons. Warming up, stretching and making sure that your exercise and training techniques are flawless will also prevent this issue.